Arsenal hit by 'massive' double blow after Takehiro Tomiyasu injury update - pundit
Noel Whelan has insisted Arsenal have been dealt a “massive” double blow with Takehiro Tomiyasu and Kieran Tierney both out injured.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker admitted the Gunners have sorely missed the Japan international’s tremendous “one-v-one” defending.
In an official update published on Tuesday (5 April), Arsenal confirmed Tomiyasu, 23, is not expected to return to full training until after the game against Southampton (16 April).
He has been out of action with a calf injury since February.
Meanwhile, Tierney is set to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury that requires surgery.
Whelan admitted having both full-backs is a major blow for Arsenal in their hunt for a top-four finish.
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Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Tomiyasu, I’m not sure I’ve seen him get beat in a one-v-one yet.
“That’s even up against the likes of Sterling. A really talented full-back, really hard to get by. He brings physicality, height, strength, power, pace.
“He’s a massive loss for another couple of weeks. As for Tierney, well, he’s been fantastic over the last couple of seasons. He’s got better and better since he’s moved to Arsenal from Celtic.
“He is a natural full-back. He gives you everything, he ticks all the boxes in getting forward, his strength, quality of crosses.
“There’s not too many better than him from that wide area, getting the ball into the box. That is a massive blow too.”
Tomiyasu, a right-back, has played 17 times for Arsenal since joining from Bologna last summer.
Meanwhile, Tierney has been the Gunners’ first-choice left-back this term, with 25 appearances under his belt.
In other news, Arsenal star could replace West Ham favourite as approach made.